On Sunday November 30th, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)-Legal Aid through the Voice project completed its final of five 16 Days of Activism awareness session in the urban refugee communities of Amman, Mafraq and Zarqa. The Voice project is a refugee-centered project that is tailored with the overarching purpose of maintaining and restoring Syrian refugees’ sense of dignity through highlighting their voices as active agents of change instead of passive recipients of aid. The purpose of these sessions was to enable refugees to participate in the global 16 Days of Activism (November 25-December 10) and the upcoming Human Rights Day (December 10). The 16 Days of Activism campaign is a global international advocacy effort against gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women (VAW).
Over 75 beneficiaries were reached in the course of five sessions throughout Jordan. The workshops involved brainstorming issues that affect their community and how gender plays a role in these identified issues. The groups discussed how harassment based on both gender and national identity impacted their daily lives. The community groups then worked together to prioritize their needs and form coherent message. The community groups were introduced to basic advocacy and how to effectively communicate their needs and aspirations. They were shown short videos like “Change Your Words” to inspire them to think creatively and positively in framing their messages. The community group members reflected on what safe spaces meant to them. For many it was a physical space like their apartment or family, while for others it was more abstract like memories of home or tastes of their favorite Syrian dish.
The community groups were also introduced to upcoming events where they would have an opportunity to express their collective voices like the December 6th Karama Human Rights Film Festival panel entitled Safe Spaces: At Home and in Displacement. The panel will explore how creating safe spaces can generate an environment for marginalized groups to grow and thrive. In addition to three expert panelists we will also have several of our beneficiaries who will talk about the Voice program and how safe spaces impact their daily lives as refugees in Jordan. This is an excellent opportunity for refugees to engage and communicate their concerns, needs and aspirations to the public.
ARDD-Legal Aid is committed to elevating the voices of refugees in Jordan and ending gender-based violence and violence against women.